TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NY Times Plans Major Job Cutback

Re: NY Times Plans Major Job Cutback

Mark Crispin (
Sun, 14 Jan 2007 17:47:47 -0800

On Sat, 13 Jan 2007, wrote:

> 3) Far more people live in the suburbs and just don't care about the
> big city issues anymore, the stuff that was the bread 'n butter of a
> city newspaper. Suburbanites without any city connection -- as many are
> today -- don't care about City Hall or inner city issues.

True, but ...

> Unfortunately, it's a lot harder for a newspaper to cover every tiny
> town meeting of the suburbs, where many towns can be just a few square
> miles.

There's a big difference between covering every tiny town meeting, and
no coverage or condescending coverage ("where all the girls are either
pregnant or look like they will soon become pregnant") of the suburbs
where most of their readership lives.

A newspaper that purports to be a regional paper should cover at least
the local 5-digit population bedroom communities, and not treat them
as if they were a 2-digit population farming community 100 miles away.
And, under no circumstances, should the paper make the kind of remark
that I quoted above about any place.

> 4) The cost of covering a much larger developed area and distributing
> the newspaper to said area is considerably more.

Yet the big city papers seem to be determined to grab wide-area
markets. If they want to play, they ought to pay.

> 5) If you compare a newspaper today to one say of 1974, you'll find
> the 1974 edition much smaller. Over the years they've added many
> features to the newspaper that weren't there in the past. This is a
> cost.

Most of the bulk is advertising. Once you get past page 1 and 2, the
majority of each page in the A section of the Seattle papers are large
ads for downtown Seattle business. It goes downhill from there.

Then there are the advertising inserts. In the Sunday paper, more
than 50% of the paper by weight is advertising inserts.

I once measured column inches between one of the Seattle papers and a
much thinner smaller-city newspaper. The latter actually had more
news text.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do either of you -- Mark or Lisa --
> remember when the Sunday New York Times first weighed in at five
> pounds? Five pounds of newspaper every Sunday. There was an article
> about it in the NY Times the next day ... Does _anyone_ actually read
> all of the Sunday paper? Not just the Times, but any Sunday paper? PAT]

I go through the entire Sunday paper (minus the advertising). Of
course, I just skim through the sections that I am uninterested in,
but at least I see them.

It's been a long time since I last looked through the Sunday NY Times, but
as I recall much of its bulk was advertising.

-- Mark --
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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